February 22nd, 2007
Rinse fish under cold running water; pat dry with paper towels. Set 2 fillets aside; cut remaining fillets into quarters.
FOR THE KIDS Following manufacturer's directions, heat vegetable oil to 375°F (190°C) in a deep-fat fryer. Alternatively, pour oil into a large wide pot to a depth of 1 inch (2.5 cm); heat over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer registers 375°F (190°C) or a cube of bread dropped into oil turns golden in 30 seconds. If using pot, reduce heat as necessary to maintain correct temperature.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients; pour in soda water. Whisk until batter is smooth.
Put half of fish pieces in batter, turning to coat evenly. Lift them out one at a time, letting excess batter drip back into bowl. Slide each piece gently into oil; fry for 3 to 4 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp. Remove from fryer; drain well on paper towels. Keep warm. Repeat with remaining fish.
FOR THE GROWN-UPS While tilapia is deep-frying, in a small bowl, stir together thyme, paprika, basil, garlic powder, salt and cayenne. Spread spice mixture over both sides of remaining fish fillets.
In a large good-quality non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook fish for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until it flakes easily with a fork. Remove fish from skillet; keep warm.
In fat remaining in skillet, cook sweet pepper, olives and capers for 3 to 5 minutes, until pepper is tender-crisp. Stir in parsley. Spoon over Cajun-rubbed fish.
Serve deep-fried and Cajun-rubbed fish with lemon wedges.
PER SERVING (KIDS) 134 calories, 4.6 g fat, 23 mg calcium, 187 mg sodium, 7.1 g carbohydrates, 0.2 g fibre, 15.9 g protein; excellent source of niacin
PER SERVING (GROWN-UPS) 190 calories, 9.7 g fat, 38 mg calcium, 456 mg sodium, 3.4 g carbohydrates, 1.2 g fibre, 23.4 g protein; excellent source of vitamin C and niacin; good source of folate
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